Frogs complete series sweep, defeat Air Force 5-4
April 9, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas - An RBI single by Keith Conlon in the seventh inning proved the difference as TCU completed a Mountain West Conference series sweep of Air Force, defeating the Falcons 5-4. The victory marked the fifth consecutive win for the Frogs. Conlon, Corey Steglich and Austin Adams led the offensive attack for TCU with two hits apiece.
TCU manufactured a run in the bottom of the third to take the early lead. Steglich opened the frame with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Adams. A wild pitch by Air Force starter Jake Petro allowed Steglich to move to third and Bryan Kervin walked to put runners on the corners with one out. The Frogs continued to play small ball as Steven Trout laid down a safety squeeze to push Steglich across the plate for the first run of the game.
The Frogs added another run on two hits in the fourth. After Matt Vern drew a free pass with one out, Steglich drove a first-pitch fastball down the left-field line to put two runners in scoring position. Two pitches later, Adams poked a single through the right side to plate Vern and give TCU the 2-0 lead.
The Falcons fought back in the fifth to take the lead, scoring three runs on just two hits. A lead-off single by Billy Adams ended TCU starter, Zach Ashwood's day. He allowed just three hits, striking out three and walking two, in four innings. With the bases loaded and one out, Air Force right fielder Matt Ghigna tied the game with a two-run single to right. An intentional walk to Karl Bolt put runners on the corners for Austin Ferreria who laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed the runner to score from third and give Air Force the 3-2 lead.
The Frogs quickly responded, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead. Kervin punched a double to left-center to lead off the inning and advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Chad Huffman lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Kervin and tie the game. Matt Carpenter started a two-out rally with a four-pitch walk and moved to second on the second wild pitch of the inning. Conlon gave the Frogs the lead with a double off the wall in center.
The Falcons got the run back in the top of the sixth as three relievers combined to walk four Falcons, before Sam Demel got Jon Polston to ground into an inning-ending double play.
TCU used three consecutive singles in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. After Huffman and Carpenter reached base, Conlon dropped a bunt single down the third base line. He moved to second on the errant throw by the third baseman that allowed Huffman to score the eventual game-winning run.
Demel closed out the game for TCU with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn his fourth victory of the season. He struck out two, walked four and allowed two hits.
With the win, TCU improves to 19-15 and 6-1 in MWC play. The Falcons drop to 10-19 overall and 1-6 in conference action. The Frogs will travel to Norman, Okla. on Tuesday to face off against nationally-ranked Oklahoma at 7 p.m.
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